This cruise offered many ports we had not yet visited. Three cities in Ireland plus Liverpool (I am a big Beatles fan), Dover, Le Havre, Bruges and Amsterdam. Plus we got a great deal which included free drink package, free internet, paid gratuities and $300 in onboard credit. On the plus side the drink package covered all drinks (which I only learned on the third day when an attendant mentioned it to me). On the negative side, the free internet only applied to one device. Embarkation was reasonably quick, but no paperwork provided now - hence my ignorance of my beverage package. My luggage never showed, I called twice and got put on hold and disconnected once, then told I would get a call back - I didn't. Finally went down to the desk and there it was. They said it didn't have a name tag - but it did have the room number luggage tag they provide, so not sure why they could not deliver it. Also discovered they have a new do-it-yourself system for scanning your sea pass when leaving and returning. First time I nearly walked off the ship without scanning as no one asked for my sea pass. Again some paperwork when signing in might have been nice for learning this fact.
Our cabin was adequate but nothing special. We had a balcony that was slightly higher than the lifeboats. Storage space was ample and we got great service from our attendant Dina.
We ate in the MDR the first two nights, then went to the Oceanview Cafe the rest of the time. We had anytime seating and requested table for two. We got that but it was sandwiched between several other tables for two so you might as well be eating at the large round tables. We checked the menus every night but did not see anything that would tempt us back to the MDR. The wait staff and wine steward were all very good when we were there. The food in the Café was very good with many options. The bartender always greeted us with our beverage of choice when we entered the room. We did not use any of the restaurants.
We did make the theater almost every night. The ship orchestra was quite good and the cast was adequate. I didn't care much for the Celebrity shows Euphoria and Elysium. The singing was good but the plot/story line was thin/nonexistent. The guest stars were all quite good. A magician Mathew McGurk who did primarily card tricks while his wife joined to do some aerial stunts. A sax player/singer Hayden Smith who also had his wife (Alexa Jayne) join the show to sing. Both had quality voices. Mark O'Malley was another fine vocalist as was Helen Wilding. The flyboys are a grown boy band who sing boogie woogie style and do it well. We had seen them before on a prior cruise. Our favorite was Kyle Espin a Scottish piano player ala Jerry Lee Lewis. Tremendous self-taught talent.
Dublin is a grand city with lots to see. We used a Hop On Hop Off bus which unfortunately did not have a working microphone.
Belfast is still a very divided city to my surprise. They may no longer kill each other but there is no love between them still. We took a Giants Causeway Tour with Odyssey Coach Tours. Really wonderful tour.
In Liverpool we took a half day Beatles and Sightseeing Walking tour through Brilliant Liverpool Tours. Our guide was quite knowledgeable and entertaining and we got to go inside the Cavern Club. Spent the rest of the day on our own.
Next Stop was Cobh for 2 days. First day we walked around on our own and the second day we took a Cork and Blarney Castle Tour with Railtours of Ireland. Blarney Castle was fine, but we skipped waiting 2 hours to kiss the Blarney Stone. The gardens are very nice. We could have skipped the Cobh Heritage center portion of the tour. Must have been a school outing as there were a lot of loud teenagers roaming the place.
We used our onboard credit to take a Celebrity excursion from Dover to Cantebury and Leeds Castle. Both were quite impressive.
Le Havre was another 2 day stop and was the jumping point for Paris and D-Day tours but we have seen Paris many times and did not want to spend 5 hours on a train (roundtrip). So we booked a train ride to Honfleur through Bee LeHavre, a pretty little city an hour away from Le Havre where some Impressionists painted. The second day we walked around Le Havre - which did not take long.
Our final port before disembarking in Amsterdam was Bruges (reachable by bus ticket). We just did a self guided tour there. Very pretty town, but it was very hot the day we were there.
We did have 2 sea days and found sufficient activities to keep us busy. The temperatures were in the mid 50s in the British Isles so pool did not get much use. Fitness Center was adequate and we never had to wait for equipment. We made the mistake of paying for a wine tasting that was oversold and poorly organized. They set up six different stations but the stewards were too busy pouring to be able to tell each individual much about what we were sampling.
Disembarking was smooth - we had to catch an early flight so handled our own luggage and were in a cab within 30 minutes.
Small, with obstructed view from balcony but quite sufficient for our needs.
Tour guide spoke during drive, tour was on your own upon arrival.
Very impressive cathedral, lovely town/
Wonderful city, very clean and attractive.
Small town, not much to see.
Small town, can walk around in half a day.